Main Still Live June 04 2013
*Almost there!* Chris, our natural gas guy and young father of six, did a wonderful job of helping us install our main still as well as set up a shroud and chimney for it. We've since been playing with different configurations and mash bills. We had six bubble cap trays in our still, but removed two. Too much separation and we'd be making something closer to vodka. Davin says in his book that most Canadian whisky over recent decades has been distilled to a high proof (i.e. borderline vodka), and then aged with used bourbon barrels. The used barrels impart their bourbon whiskey flavour on the Canadian whisky while it ages. The plus side of that process is a smoother spirit, the downside is less of the taste can be attributed to the grain that's being aged / flavour infused. For our Ontario Grain Spirit though, we want to convey as much of the grain's terroir as possible, and get a sense of each mash bill's profile unaltered by post-distilling flavour infusions.
And we're thrilled with the results! Jesse cut the "hearts" (the middle phase of the run) from our first wheat distillation in the main still, and the result conveyed a warm, reassuring earthiness while being surprisingly smooth! We're letting it settle in glass carboys for a bit, and in the next week we'll do our first bottling for our first customer, Happy Child Bar on Queen St. W. (The owner/manager is a good friend from high school, handy!)